This week Deeply Driven had the privilege of meeting Fungi Murau! Fungi is an accomplished author and has written several books aimed at the younger audience. Her books are exciting and have captivated the imaginations of many young people through their ability to transport the reader right into the middle of the pending adventure.
My first and most important role is being a mum to two beautiful girls. The eldest is 10 years old and the baby turned one recently. Additionally I am children’s author and run a non- profit children’s publishing house called Jorja Publishing. Lastly I am a Masters of Arts (Poverty and Development) candidate at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University.
I hold a Professional Diploma in Marketing with the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) which lead to gaining my chartered marketer (MCIM) credential. It all started with a Professional Diploma in Executive Personal Assistant gained at BIC Academy in Zimbabwe.
What does empowering women mean to you?
An empowered woman is one that is able to make educated and emotionally well-balanced choices about her body, education, ambitions and the company she keeps. Empowering women is something that I am deeply passionate about because, women are the glue that society together.
My mother Lucy Murau was widowed at 44 years old. In spite of this she managed to raise my three siblings (plus extended family) and I, to becoming the accomplished adults that we are today.
I also admire the women I have seen in African villages that wake up at the crack of dawn to collect water, firewood, and make the little resources they have sustain their livelihoods.
Globally Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and Muhammad Yunus are very high on my inspirational list.
What has been your greatest life challenge and how have you overcome it?
My greatest challenge and blessing has been raising my daughter with a disability. I believe that I have been able to overcome this challenge physically and mentally. Physically, I have encouraged her to try and participate in everything that life throws at her. So when the doctors told me that she would not be able to swim, ride a bike or struggle in main stream education I was crushed. However the miracle that is my daughter, can swim, ride a bike and achieving great grades in main stream education.
I remember once praying that I wanted to feel the palm of my daughter hand in mine as we walked in the park. As she walks using a walking aid this seemed like one of those prayers that was like grasping at straws. The power of prayer, hope, persistence and faith overcome any challenges. My daughter now occasionally uses my hand to stabilise herself as we walk hand in hand!
The passion for my work is my main drive! Knowing that every book that I have published will not only bring joy to the person who reads it, but also that the proceeds go to the less fortunate is an extremely powerful force.
From January 2015 Jorja Publishing will sponsor two girls through secondary education as I strongly believe that education is the key to unlocking our potential!
What is the value of a well-read generation of women based on your experiences as an author?
A well-read woman is equipped with knowledge not only to improve her life but also that of those she loves. Nothing can ever stop an equipped woman!
What future do you envision for the advancement of women and what steps are you taking to be part of the change?
I desire to see women in jobs that are traditionally held by men. I would like to see more women in senior political positions, encouraging peace and unity where there is war! I would also like to see more women acknowledged in monetary value for the duties they perform on a daily basis! One thing that I am proud to be doing is raising my daughters to know that it is up to them to break off stereotypes faced by women to behave a certain way. Women must begin to know their worth!!
What message do you want to share with other young women out there?
Life is now, yesterday is gone. Learn from the past to be able to do better today. Give credit where it is due and stand shoulder to shoulder with other women fighting for what is pure. Never put other people down, as you do not understand or know their journey! Above all learn to be kind, be just, uplift and encourage.
Ladies create opportunities when you can and grab opportunities when they are presented to you. Most importantly, each moment passes and it is only up to you to make the next amazing.
What do you know now that you wish you had known at an earlier stage of your career?
This question made laugh because I have always wondered what I would do differently in my life. I wish I could have listened more to the elders in my community about how to make positive changes in this world. Get educated ladies and work together, it really is how we make a difference out there!